Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


UNICEF NZ on Standby to Lend Support to Cyclone-Hit Tonga

UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund)

Media Release

14 January 2014

UNICEF NZ on Standby to Lend Support to Cyclone-Hit Tonga

UNICEF NZ is on standby, ready to respond with emergency supplies and personnel in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Ian, which devastated parts of Tonga at the weekend.


Most of the damage was sustained in the northeast islands of the Ha’apai group, and latest reports indicate up to 5,000 people have been affected, with some 2,000 living in temporary emergency shelters.

UNICEF NZ Executive Director Dennis McKinlay said the agency was continuing to liaise closely with the Tonga National Emergency Management Office and other agencies in the country.

“UNICEF Pacific staff, as part of the Pacific Humanitarian Team, has been meeting to assess the scope of the emergency situation and the response needed. We have emergency supplies and personnel ready to be deployed but we are currently awaiting a decision from the Tongan Government on the level of support that may be required from international agencies.” If called on to assist, UNICEF will actively lead clusters of agencies working in Water and Sanitation, Education and Nutrition, and in Child Protection.

With communications still limited in some of the affected areas, the full impact of the Cyclone is still being assessed. “However, the key issues are mainly access to clean, safe drinking water and food, shelter and sanitation. We are particularly concerned about displaced women and children whose needs have not yet been assessed,” Mr McKinlay said.

Shelter, food, water and hygiene kits will be needed in the initial response to the disaster. UNICEF has prepositioned emergency supplies ready to mobilise in Suva including soap, water containers, purification tablets, and water tanks. Initial reports indicate some primary schools have been damaged and some are being used as evacuation centres. UNICEF can also provide tents, tarpaulins and school-in-a box kits for students displaced by the disaster if needed.

Mr McKinlay says agencies will need to continue to work closely and to co-ordinate their efforts with the Pacific Humanitarian Team, “Emergency responses require coordinated effort from all those involved to avoid duplication and to ensure all those who need help receive it.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news